The Trouble with Open Water

The trouble with Open Water is: too few divers continue their diving education beyond this class. But as every instructor knows, divers who complete additional training tend to be happier, more confident divers.

So how do you convince a brand-new student to pursue training beyond open water? A dive center in Illinois has put a new spin on course bundling with great success. They offer four learn-to-dive packages:

Basic Diver $299 Scuba Diver $599 Master Diver $1599 Master Diver II $2295

Basic Diver
Basic Diver is, in fact, the PADI Open Water class. The staff calls this “the bare bones class.”

Scuba Diver
“Scuba Diver” is not the same as PADI Scuba Diver. In fact, it’s OW and AOW bundled together. Why the confusing name? Because people want to become a “scuba diver” as opposed to a “PADI Open Water Diver.”

This can also be promoted as the “dive anywhere in the world” package (because it includes advanced open water training).

The Scuba Diver package includes all the course materials – plus a PADI backpack. The PADI backpack is a key component in getting Basic Diver students to upgrade. When the Scuba Divers show up for classroom sessions with their backpacks the Basic guys all say, “hey, how do I get one of those?!?”

Master Diver I and II
Not a lot of folks opt for these high-end packages. But the true purpose of Master Diver isn’t to sell a massive bundle of classes. It’s much more subtle . . .

By making Basic / Open Water Diver the low-end course, and Master Diver the “rich man’s course,” the majority of people go for Scuba Diver.

Those who do opt for Master Diver can choose from a list of 12 specialties. More time-consuming specialties may be added for an additional cost.

One last thing: with the exception of Basic Diver, each package has a posted upgrade price. This makes it easy for the staff to sell these packages to certified divers of any level.

(Megan)

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